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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Pop > Rock > Singer > Songwriter > Standards > Neil Sedaka – The Show Goes On: Live At The Royal Albert Hall (DVD-Video)

Neil Sedaka – The Show Goes On: Live At The Royal Albert Hall (DVD-Video)


Picture: B-     Sound: B     Extras: C+     Concert: B



Neil Sedaka is one of the great writers from the legendary Brill Building who helped to build Rock, Pop and American Music starting in the 1950s.  From his first hit in 1958, he became one of RCA’s biggest acts along with Elvis Presley and the hits kept on coming until 1963 for himself and the likes of Connie Francis, just before The Beatles changed everything.  In the mid-1970s, he made a huge comeback that further cemented his endurance and write hits for The Captain & Tennille.  A half-century later, he returns as triumphant as ever with The Show Goes On: Live At The Royal Albert Hall, a remarkable show where Sedaka shows why he is a national treasure.


If you don’t remember his songs, maybe the following performances offered in this fine show will refresh your memory:


1. The Other Side Of Me

2. Standing On The Inside

3. The Miracle Song

4. The Queen Of 1964

5. Our Last Song Together

6. Inseparable

7. Oh Carol

8. Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen

9. Where The Boys Are

10. Calendar Girl

11. You

12. Cardboard California

13. Laughter In The Rain

14. Should Have Never Let You Go (duet with Dara Sedaka)

15. Is This The Way To Amarillo

16. Solitaire

17. Never Again

18. Betty Grable

19. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

20. Stairway To Heaven

21. One Way Ticket

22. I Go Ape

23. The Hungry Years

24. Fantasy Impromptu

25. Super Bird

26. The Immigrant

27. Love Will Keep Us Together

28. That's When The Music Takes Me



The amazing thing is he still has his voice and knows how to use it, knows his material, knows his audience and is a master showman.  After sitting painfully through one too many performances by mature performers that just do not have it anymore or bravely and painfully play though their music in ways that are sad to watch.  Sedaka starts out slowly and you wonder what you are in for.  He talks to his audience and not at them.  Then a few songs in, you realize he is not down for the count.  It just gets better and better and better.


Yes, some performances are not the outright definitive versions you’d like to hear, but a masterwork like Laughter In The Rain endures remarkably well and the audience is great.  That means energy and even a duet via satellite with his daughter Dara, his last Top 20 from 1980, it is a great moment that reminds us that one of the reasons Sedaka is one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever is because of roots and a knack for emotional honesty increasingly lacking in music from anywhere.  Neil Sedaka deserves to be remembered more than he has been lately, but The Show Goes On: Live At The Royal Albert Hall is so good, it should be time for new wave of revival for this musical genius.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image was shot in digital High Definition video and it is one of the best such concerts we have seen on standard DVD-Video to date, but then when doesn’t the Royal Albert Hall look good?  Lighting is good, the camera choices to shoot Sedaka with are prime and the camera is never too static or all over the place.  It has balance, while detail and depth are not bad.  The Dolby Digital 5.0 mix shows that this is well recorded, but the DTS version really shines with clear piano and vocals.  The combination is warm.  The only extra is a half-hour interview with Sedaka by Paul Gambaccini, but along with the concert, that is plenty.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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